Coachella festival postponed due to coronavirus, a day after Pearl Jam puts off tour
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the largest music festivals in the country, will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The festival in Indio, Calif., was scheduled to take place April 10-19, but will be pushed back to Oct. 9-18, the organizers announced late Tuesday. The festival typically draws around 100,000 people a day over six days.
The Stagecoach country-music festival, which draws about 75,000 people and was scheduled just a week later, also in the Coachella Valley, will also be delayed until Oct. 23-25.
Three new cases of coronavirus were announced Monday in Riverside County, Calif., where the two festivals are held, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Pearl Jam on Monday called off the first leg of its upcoming “Gigaton” tour, which will be rescheduled at a later date. The 17-date North American leg was set to kick off March 18 in Toronto, and end April 19 in Oakland, Calif.
The Seattle-based rock band is still scheduled to perform in Europe for the second leg of the tour, starting June 23 in Frankfurt, Germany.
“As residents of the city of Seattle, we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate,” the band said in a series of tweets. “It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.
“Unfortunately, communing in large groups is a huge part of what we do as a band and the tour we’ve been busy planning for months is now in jeopardy…We have and will always keep the safety and well-being of our supporters as top priority.”
A number of local governments have ordered or urged the cancellation of large public gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak, in an effort to slow its spread.
Last week, punk-pop band Green Day and K-Pop sensations BTS canceled separate upcoming tours in Asia. On Wednesday, Grammy-winner Carlos Santana canceled the European leg of his world tour, which was scheduled to start Saturday in Bologna, Italy.
But pop star Lady Gaga is betting on things dying down by the summer; last week she announced a six-city tour that kicks off July 24 in Paris and wraps up Aug. 19 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
The music industry is likely to be particularly hard hit by outbreak-forced cancellations. Last week, the city of Austin, Texas, ordered the cancellation of the upcoming South by Southwest festival, which annually draws around 400,000 visitors to a celebration of live music, film, art and technology.
It’s unclear if SXSW will be able to reschedule, and the organizers said that their insurance does not cover a virus outbreak.
“We’ve had to show our insurance policy to all kinds of people, and nobody ever said, ‘Hey, there’s a big hole here,’” South by Southwest co-founder and Chief Executive Roland Swenson told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. “We did not anticipate a pandemic. We’d always taken the attitude of, ‘Well, we’ll never cancel, so that’s not going to be an issue.’”
The New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival — known as Jazz Fest — is also coming April 23-May 3. The event typically draws around 500,000 people over two weekends. As of now, that festival is scheduled to go on as planned, according to New Orleans’s WVUE-TV.